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Tully Monster Unmasked

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Is The Tungsten Bulb On Its Way Back?

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Ancient Greek attitudes today

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Jubilee Plastic Bag

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Robert H OlleyRSS Feed of this column.

Until recently, I worked in the Polymer Physics Group of the Physics Department at the University of Reading.

I would describe myself as a Polymer Morphologist. I am not an astronaut,

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Recently on Countryfile (BBC) we saw a presenter and a photographer together in the Pennines, the mountains that form the ‘backbone’ of England.  The photographer makes a living by taking spectacular scenes with a high-end camera and all different lenses, whereas the presenter was comparing what she took with her mobile. 

He was worried that in the public domain the best images would be lost in a massive cloud which includes a lot of inferior (though he didn’t specifically use the word) data.

This clicked with me, because of my experience of attempting astrophotography with what is known as a ‘bridge’ camera, somewhat between a compact and an SLR.

Once again, your resident tellytraveller has turned his gaze to the Southern Hemisphere, this time with second series of Coast Australia.  Episode 8 took us to New South Wales, and most spectacularly to Jervis Bay, a little under 200 km south of Sydney.


VE, VF ...?

VE, VF ...?

May 13 2015 | 3 comment(s)

Today is the seventy-fifth anniversary of one of the most famous speeches given by Winston Churchill:

We shall fight on the beaches


of which the best remembered words are

We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, ...

Fish and flowers inspire diving goggle material


says an article in Chemistry World

First, the fish.  Fish repel oil by trapping water within their scales to create a self-cleaning, oil-repellent coat.

And in the other corner, this little flower, Diphylleia grayi, – also known as the skeleton flower – which has the property that when rained on, its petals turn transparent, becoming white again on drying out.